Engineering and metaphor

Received Apr 15; Accepted Aug

Engineering and metaphor

Twenty business metaphors and what they mean by Tom Albrighton 18 March CopywritingStorytelling Metaphors are ways of understanding one Engineering and metaphor in terms of another.

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They are a bridge from the close and familiar to the distant and strange, explaining the unknown in terms of the known. They pervade our everyday language, and shape the way we think. Metaphors are shared ways of seeing the world.

Metaphors are, by nature, imperfect. Like spotlights, they illuminate some things while leaving others in the dark. This means they sometimes outlive their usefulness, and have to be dropped or replaced. Metaphors are valuable tools in business, particularly when people need to communicate complex, dry ideas.

You are here Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, P.
Engineering Good: How Engineering Metaphors Help us to Understand the Moral Life and Change Society Metaphors are used by anyone trying to convey an idea in an indirect manner. We use them daily without realizing it.
Twenty business metaphors and what they mean - ABC Copywriting But compiling any kind of alphabetical primer requires making trade-offs. How Metaphorical Inferences Work "I like to think of myself as someone who sits on the curb of the info-highway, bemusedly watching all the traffic whiz by--and also as someone who occasionally darts out into the traffic to pick up interesting litter.

Because metaphors nearly always depend on familiar physical objects as their vehicles, they make abstract concepts more concrete and sensory-rich.

This post looks at a few metaphors used in business communication. And they all have a range of conscious and unconscious connotations that may or may not be useful, which are worth considering before you use them. Perhaps times of day were more like labels that were applied to certain events, when they had to be.

Otherwise, time must have slipped by without needing to be counted, measured or exchange, existing only in our heads and the natural cycles of the world.


All these concepts were productive in their way, but they obscured the reality of an organisation as a group of people. Unlike uniform components, people have very different abilities and aptitudes. This adds a welcome dimension of humanity. However, thinking of an organisation as a single person also obscures its plurality.

To the extent that it is a metaphor, it suggests that business situations are problems or puzzles to which a particular product or service is the answer. While this connotation is probably perceived only faintly if at allit is quite apposite: A tool is handy, practical and perfectly suited to a particular job.

However, its specificity is its limitation as well as its strength. A hammer is perfect for knocking in nails, but useless for measuring. While reassuring, this permanence might subconsciously communicate limitation or constraint. It draws a parallel between the evolution of living things and the way products are developed.

Engineering and metaphor

One drawback of this metaphor might be the way it downplays human agency. They are the result of our own ideas and decisions — reflections of ourselves, for better or worse. If we visualise this metaphor consciously at all, we might think of a lift going to the next floor, or perhaps someone ascending a flight of stairs.

So what will happen if others do try and join you? Will the ladder break, or fall? More to the point, what if you reach the top and discover that your ladder was leaning against the wrong wall? Jumping across to another ladder is dangerous, so you might have to go all the way back down and start again.

Paths fork, implying choice. Overtaking, or being overtaken, is no big deal. You can step off the path for a while, if you like — there might even be a bench to sit on.

In engineering, it means optimising a machine to get the most from a resource, such as fuel. In sport, it means achieving potential and perhaps victory, while in the arts it means entertaining an audience.Figures of speech can render a piece of art with so much more appeal than a plain text, don't you think?

Similes and metaphors are simple to understand, and they make for some very interesting pieces of art. In fact, they are some of the simplest forms of literary techniques and can be easily identified in a text. Metaphor Sites General Information about Metaphors Engineering Metaphors.

Engineering Metaphor for Software; English Metaphors. Purdue OWL: Using Metaphors in Creative Writing; This site gives definitions of various types of metaphors with a few examples of each.

The first relies on metaphors related to engineering as a science and a top-down activity; the second draws on metaphors related to engineering as a practice that develops bottom-up. I will argue that the latter view and its metaphors provide a more adequate way to understand and guide the moral life.

Many a time I've asked what the difference is between an analogy and a metaphor. I've asked it to my teacher, on internet sites, to my parents, so on and so forth.

I . PDF | Metaphor and other imaginative mechanisms that underlie human thought and language such as metonymy are used in everyday and specialised discourse (Lakoff and Johnson ; Lakoff and Nuñez. Twenty business metaphors and what they mean Metaphors are ways of understanding one thing in terms of another.

They are a bridge from the close and familiar to the distant and strange, explaining the unknown in terms of the known. In engineering, it means optimising a machine to get the most from a resource, such as .

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